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2023 MLB Free Agent Preview: Trea Turner

John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2023 MLB Free Agent Preview: Trea Turner

As we continue to look at the top MLB free agents, we go to the west coast and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Loaded with talent, but at risk of losing one of the best shortstops in the game. Trea Turner will be a free agent this offseason, and let’s see his potential landing spots for the 2023 season.

2022 Review

While his Dodger tenure may be short, Turner provided another excellent season in 2022 with the team. He batted .298 and reached 100 RBIs for the first time in his career. The stolen bases were still present with 27 and 39 doubles. His WAR also reached 4.9, which happens to be the highest of his career as well. Turner definitely did well at boosting his value heading into free agency.

Potential Landing Spots

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Turner would prefer to play on the east coast again. He still likes the idea of playing in L.A., but it appears Turner is most likely heading back to the east coast.

Philadelphia Phillies

As of now, the Phillies are two wins away from a World Championship. They’re clearly an electric team who could look to make a splash this offseason to load up. Jean Segura is set to be a free agent, which leaves a hole at 2B/SS. One of those positions will be filled by Bryson Scott, and the other would be perfect for Turner. NL champions and an east coast team puts the Phillies as a prime candidate to sign Turner.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Obviously, if Turner decides to stay on the west coast, re-signing with the Dodgers makes a lot of sense. They’re a team capable of paying him, and he seems to fit well in their lineup. The Dodgers don’t seem to be too concerned if Turner walks, however. Turner leaving allows the Dodgers to pursue Aaron Judge, which would move Mookie Betts to the infield and fill the void left by Turner.

Atlanta Braves

The Braves find themselves in a shortstop situation as well. Dansby Swanson is set to hit the market with the possibility of signing elsewhere. If he does, Turner going to the Braves would fit well. Like we said before, Turner wants to go to the east coast, and that’s exactly where the Braves are. They also have most of their core signed to long-term contracts, giving the team more flexibility to sign free agents instead of trying to save it to lock guys up. Perhaps it could be a revenge story for the Braves as well. Freddie Freeman left to go to the Dodgers, maybe this time the Braves can steal Turner from the Dodgers.

New York Yankees

While the Yankees’ number one priority will be to re-sign Judge, they have to be prepared for the worst. If he leaves, they’ll have to respond in a big way. Signing a starting pitcher makes more sense, but a name like Turner would lighten up the Bronx if they lost Judge. Of course, the Yankees have Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe who are the middle infield of the future. But, if they lose Judge, you’d have to think they’d be in the mix for a high-profile guy like Turner.

Chicago Cubs

This one is more of a stretch but never say never. The Cubs are in an awkward rebuild/retool phase, and after losing their world championship core they’re expected to lose more. Catcher Willson Contreras will hit the free agent market and is unlikely to re-sign with the team. The Cubs are another east coast team for Turner to choose from. With only $89 million committed to payroll in 2023 and $50 million in ’24, and no obvious long-term shortstop solution in the organization, the Cubs could take a big swing at Turner this offseason.

The Verdict

Turner clearly wants to go on the east coast, so it looks like his time with the Dodgers is over. The Phillies make a ton of sense, and they’re my pick to nab the shortstop. Coming off a World Series appearance will make them aggressive, and Turner in a lineup with Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and Kyle Schwarber would be elite. It will help their defense as well, which ranked No. 25 in defensive runs saved in the regular season. They’re clearly doing well without a good defense, but any chance to improve it will go a long way.

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